You could get a loan or current account from your local credit union, but need to join first.
How to join a credit union
Use the find a credit union search to see which union you could join.
Each credit union has its own rules about who can join.
Credit union members must generally have a common bond. Examples of a common bond include:
- living or working in the same area
- being tenants of the same housing association
- working for the same employer.
Most credit unions are members of the Association of British Credit Unions.
Short term loans
Credit unions provide short-term loans, often for small amounts.
Credit unions may offer you a loan if you have a low income or you claim benefits. You may need to build up savings before you get a loan.
Interest charges are no more than 3% per month, but many charge less.
Some credit unions provide members with a current account.
This could be helpful if you can't open a bank account with a traditional bank. .
Saving with a credit union
Credit unions encourage saving as a way to help with budgeting your money.
Credit unions may allow you to deposit money at:
- local branch offices
- local shops
- by direct debit
- through deductions directly from your wages.
Credit unions usually limit the amount you can save with them to a maximum of £30,000.
Your money is protected by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if the credit union fails.
Problems repaying a loan
If you have difficulty paying your loan, you can ask your credit union for more affordable repayments or help with budgeting.
If you don't pay, a credit union can take you to court in the same way as any other lender
Need more help?
Find out more about saving and borrowing from a credit union from Which?
Last updated 08 Nov 2018 | © Shelter
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